These are delicious, but not healthy at all! I made some small changes to make them a bit better like switching out sour cream for greek yogurt and including less butter. I took these with me to a super bowl party and everyone enjoyed them.

Who doesn't love a dessert with a theme?

Who doesn’t love a dessert with a theme?

Ingredients:

Guinness Chocolate Chip Cupcake Batter – Makes 24-ish regular sized cupcakes

1 1/2 cups of Guinness Beer
1 stick (8 tbsp) of unsalted sweet cream butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups of sifted flour
1 1/2 cup of sugar
2 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup of Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1 1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Bailey’s Kahlua Frosting

1 stick (8 tbsp) of unsalted sweet cream butter
4 cups of sifted powdered sugar
5 tbsp of Baileys (Non-alcoholic version uses coffee creamer)
1 1/2 tbsp of cocoa powder
3 tbsp of skim milk
1 tbsp of kahlua

Batter Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut stick of butter into quarters and begin to melt in medium saucepan. Melt all ingredients on a low heat. Add Guinness and mix with butter. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Continue to whisk until there are no lumps and it appears smooth. Set aside.

Butter, Guinness, & Cocoa Powder

Butter, Guinness, & Cocoa Powder

Sift flour and mix with all dry ingredients in separate bowl. Combine flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda. Set Aside.

Use an electric mixer to whip eggs. Then add greek yogurt and continue to whip the mixture on high until both ingredients are evenly mixed. Once mixed, add the Guinness mixture that you set aside earlier. Mix on low until evenly combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the liquid in the mixer. Mix on low. It should be smooth and evenly mixed. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips.

Bailey’s Kahlua Frosting

Cut butter into smaller pieces to easily blend. Add them to mixer. Use a sifter to remove lumps from powdered sugar and add to butter in mixer. Begin mixing on medium.

Add Bailey’s mix. Add cocoa powder mix. Add milk mix. Add Kahlua mix.

Little Football for Superbowl Sunday!

Little Football for Superbowl Sunday!

Before frosting, make sure the cupcakes have cooled. I made these cupcakes for the game last Sunday. I frosted the cupcakes and piped the laces. They were great and a fun occasional treat. These would also be fun for St. Patrick’s Day, and just add a little green food dye/remove laces!

Short Tour

It occurred to me while running yesterday, that my favorite trail is amazing. No really, it is absolutely stunning. I take that for granted. I thought I would snap a few extra photos yesterday to show you some fun aspects of the Mt. Vernon Trail. I enter the trail at Crystal City near the Washington Reagan Airport and continue north toward Washington, DC.

Washington Reagan Airport

Washington Reagan Airport

Next up is Gravelly Point Park, which is a great place to park and run the trail if you are not within metro or walking distance. This is also a very popular destination to watch airplanes land and take off directly above you.

Washington Reagan International Airport

Gravelly Point Park. Where to watch the airplanes land and take off.

After you pass the airport, the trail hugs the Potomac River for several miles. The best part of this portion is the ability to view the monuments almost the entire time. You see the Capitol Building, Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial during different portions of the run.

Views across the Potomac

Views across the Potomac

Washington Monument on the right

Washington Monument on the right

Pentagon on the left

Pentagon on the left

IMG_3165

Lincoln Memorial from a distance

Yesterday’s run on the trail took a new twist when I met up with my friend Justine on the Virginia side of the Arlington Memorial Bridge to head toward her home for post run stretching and coffee with our friend Christine.

Justine and I detoured around Arlington Memorial Cemetery, running along the outside through Rosslyn and past the Iwo Jima Memorial.

Iwo Jima Memorial

Iwo Jima Memorial

From here we headed to her home. I didn’t wear my Garmin for this run. I’ve been experimenting with finding my comfortable pace and speed.

According to the map function on dailymile I ran 7.25 miles. It was a solid long run, averaging 11 min miles.

How was your run this weekend? Do you ever go GPS free? How’s your training for spring races coming along?

Who got a new job?!? This girl! I officially have a new job! Yes, it’s a great opportunity at an exciting company and I can’t wait to start. Of course I celebrated by buying new running gear, cause really what else would I do!?!

Here’s my findings:

1. Brooks Vest

Yep! I bought this color!

Yep! I bought this color!

I have not worn it yet. Back in college, I wore a similar vest  while running in the winter. Before I moved to Miami, I gave away most of my old winter items. Who knew I’d be back 3 years later and miss a lot of it.

In jackets my arms are too restricted. So when I saw this little number was on sale online, I immediately added it to my cart.

2. Arm Warmers

L-O-V-E

L-O-V-E

They are beautiful. These are from Groove Baby Action Gear on Etsy. Katie the shop owner was so helpful with all my questions. We even customized the sleeves with my actual measurements and switched out the silver wrist for red. I plan on wearing these during the RnR USA  Half Marathon, in Washington DC in March. If you couldn’t tell I’ll be rocking more than a healthy amount of Red, White, and Blue.

3. New Visor

Take my money!

Take my money!

As many of you know I’m a Half Fanatic (#5176) and my hubby  (#5177) is too. Yeah we’re cool. I love being a member of such a positive running community. So as an extra treat, I purchased this visor. I’m one of those people who always run with a hat or visor. This is because I have have extreme light sensitivity with my eyes and I’m super sweaty! 🙂

4. Surprise Contest Win Tech Shirt

Who doesn't love free?

Who doesn’t love free?

I’m running the Frederick Half in the spring. So I figured it couldn’t hurt when I entered a contest for 50% discount a few months ago. Well I didn’t expect to be one of the contest winners (no really, I was shocked!). As a winner, I got 50% off Frederick Half Marathon, FREE race entry to any solo race in the Baltimore Running Festival, and this awesome tech shirt. So I will be running the MD Double this year.

Image courtesy of Tumblr, 1luckygrl

How do you reward  your  accomplishments whether personal, professional, or fitness related? Have you purchased any new gear recently? If you haven’t purchased anything, is there a product that you just love to gush about?

Adventures in Spinning

I’m one of those runners who love to supplement with other forms of fitness. I can’t run everyday, I would become bored…very bored.  I  enjoy other forms of exercise, to the point where I look for activities while I’m on vacation.  This cross training philosophy accompanied with running is something that has worked for me in the past. When training for my Half Marathon race where I PR’ed, my preparation included lots of cross training.

Within the last few weeks, I started doing spinning to help with leg strength and tone my legs. To me it’s my least favorite body part, which is ironic because I’m a runner.

So yesterday I decided to do a set of strength training exercises during my lunch break. It was great and kicked my butt in a good way.

After work, I decided to take a spin class. I think one of the most challenging part of the class is figuring out my settings on the bike. For some reason I’m different every class.

Yep. That’s me, every class. source

For anyone else who spins, you know the music is key. Music in this   class was particularly interesting. We had the usual Lady Gaga & Bruno Mars. Then there were a few less typical selections including the opening song from the Lion King, Grease Lightening, various songs from Glee, the orchestral Rocky song, and the finale song the Bellas’ sing at the end of Pitch Perfect. Half the group loved the choices and the other half didn’t seem too fond of the music.

So what do you do to cross train? Do you have music you love or even hate, while spinning or even working out?

Below is a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. I augmented it to be a bit healthier so indulging will feel good!

photo 4-3
Ingredients:

1 stick of butter (8 tbsp)
1/4 cup Raw Sugar (you can use white if the taste isn’t for you)
3 tbsp of egg white substitute
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 cup of sifted Gluten Free Rice Flour (Betty Crocker makes some!)
1/4 tsp of Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
1/4 cup of packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup of Rolled Oats
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cream Butter and Raw sugar in mixer till blended and semi fluffy
3. Add the egg whites & vanilla
4. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl – Flour, Baking Powder, & Salt
5. Add Dry ingredients into mixer
6. After blending, mix in the brown sugar & rolled oats. Fold in Chocolate Chips.
7. Spray cookie sheet and place approximately 1 inch rolled balls onto the sheet. And make sure to use a fork to flatten a bit.
8. Cook for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
9. Let Cool and Enjoy!!

photo 1-2

photo 3-2

I have noticed many bloggers doing Favorite Fridays. Well, that’s exciting because I love shopping, researching products, and telling people all about products I love! So here’s my very first Friday Favorite!

Let’s talk about my fitbit force. Or shall we call this Ode to my Fitbit Force.

Mine's actually black

Mine’s actually black

If you ever wanted a computer to tell you to get off your bum, get a Fitbit. I’m a desk jockey. I sit in a cubicle M-F working at a computer all day. I do sit with an exercise ball but really I don’t move as much as I should. Before getting Fitbit, I thought I walked around enough at work. Well I was wrong! So so Wrong! I average only 5,000 or so steps during the week. Which is not good. To have an active lifestyle you should take about 10,000 steps a day. So according to Fitbit, I am barely human M-F.

This is a great motivator. If I’m low on steps, I find that I go for a small walk on my breaks. It also showed me that I am tired, because I don’t sleep very well. I wake up consistently through the night.

But it has so many great features including pedometer, sleep tracker, stair climber counter…, active minute tracker, silent alarms, calories burnt tracker, distance traveled, and all information is available daily on your wrist. My favorite part is that it allows you to track your progress overtime using their app or dashboard on your computer.

Fitbit gives you the option to input your measurements and personal information so that your calculations are as accurate as possible. I’ve taken advantage of this feature. You can input your caloric intake and other fun info to keep track for weight loss or overall fitness monitoring. I’m in process of testing out this feature.

I have never had trouble with water or it falling off. But I also do not shower with it on.

This arrived in my inbox while I was typing this up at lunch... panda = awesome

This arrived in my inbox while I was typing this up at lunch… panda = awesome

Fitbit has shown me that I am capable of achieving fitness results in my average life. I don’t need to be at the gym or on a trail in order to incorporate additional exercise into my life. (Just get off my bum) As of right now I love it. It’s like a new toy I get to play with, that shows me how inactive I am M-F.

This is me strutting around my office.

Do you use a Fitbit or another pedometer type device? What have you learned from it? Any other desk jockeys out there?

I’m obsessed with Pinterest. How could I not? It’s a virtual pin board for all the fun things you find online. I found this the other day and thought it would be a great post for Wellness Wednesday. It’s a step by step, simple plan on how to blend your own green drinks. I’m a personal fan on Green smoothies post run.

While I have not tried many of these combinations, the idea of each step makes perfect sense.

Which combinations are your favorite? Are you also obsessed with Pinterest? What’s your favorite post exercise recovery food/drink?

These were created through a happy accident. I was trying to make an orange chocolate cookie based on that chocolate that breaks open and ended up with tiny cakes. Thankfully, they are sensational especially when warm! (and these are gluten-free too!)

Finished product with vanilla yogurt!

Finished product with vanilla yogurt!

Ingredients:

1 cup of sifted rice flours
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/3 cup of raw sugar
3 tbsp of egg whites (the liquid eqq white in the carton)
4 tbsp of butter (I like the smart balance butter blend)
dash of salt
1 cup of fresh squeezed orange (It took about 2 oranges. After use the oranges for zest)
Orange zest
1 tbsp of cocoa powder
1 tbsp light brown sugar
dash os cinnamon
1/3 cup of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Begin by creaming together butter and raw sugar. These can be done by cutting the butter into manageable 1 tbsp pieces and combining in high-powered mixer until smooth. If you do not have a mixer make sure the butter is at room temp and mix ferociously with a whisk until the mixture is well combined.

Add egg whites, to creamed butter.

Mix sifted rice flour, salt, and baking powder in separate bowl. Add to liquid mixture in mixer. Combine well.

Add vanilla, brown sugar, cocoa powder, dash of cinnamon, and orange juice to mix. Mix together on low speed.

Add a pinch of orange zest & gently fold in chocolate chips.

Butter the inside of the ramekin or use cooking spray. Pour in ramekins half way. These will expand!

Cool for 22 mins at 350 degrees. Let cool and Enjoy!

These are best when a little warm.  Add a scoop or so of vanilla yogurt and a pinch of orange zest to the top to make a fun brownie sundae like creation!

Smooth mixture before the chocolate chips.

Smooth mixture before the chocolate chips.

Just Half Way!

Just Half Way!

Yum!

Yum!

Gluten Free PB&J Cookies

These cookies are delicious. They taste just like you’re eating a peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich. It’s delightful!

They're kind of pink and I love that!

They’re kind of pink and I love that!

Ingredients:
4 tbsp butter – I like the smart balance butter blend
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup of egg whites
1 cup of sifted gluten-free rice flour
1/2 tsp of baking powder
dash of salt
1 tsp of vanilla
2 1/2 tbsp of creamy peanut butter (I love the smart balance kind!)
2 tbsp of low sugar strawberry jelly
Preheat the oven to 375. Cut the butter into tablespoon sized pieces to make it easier to blend. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer. Mix to smoothly blended. Add egg  whites, & vanilla then blend.

Mix dry ingredients. Combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly mix in dry ingredients into wet mixture. Once blended mix in the peanut butter. Then mix in the strawberry jam.

Mix in the strawberry jelly.

Mix in the strawberry jelly.

Spray baking sheet. Use a scoop to portion cookies on to a baking sheet. Flatten with a fork to all the cookies to bake more evenly.

Don't forget to flatten!

Don’t forget to flatten!

Bake for 7 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool. And Enjoy!!!

Fancy Sundae

When I made these little sundaes yesterday I did not expect to put them on the blog. Therefore there is only one picture. But these were delicious! So I had to share…

Ingredients:
Häagen-Dazs Gelato – Sea Salted Caramel
Fresh Blackberries
Heavy Whipping Cream & 1 tablespoon of white sugar OR Dollop of whipped cream
Use a ramekin to help with portion control. Place 2 small scoops in each ramekin. Put a small handful of cleaned fresh blackberries on top. And put a dollop of your homemade whipped cream on top!

Recipe for Homemade whipped cream: Take large mixing bowl and pour 1/2 – 1 cup of heavy whipping cream in. Use your whisk and make quick circular motions. You want to create air pockets in your cream, which will allow it to expand. This process will take about 5 minutes. When you begin to see volume in the cream, add you tablespoon of sugar for sweetness. Stop when you have whipped cream! This process is super easy and quite impressive!

YUM!

YUM! Not pretty but AMAZING!